When one woman started a company to help others enter and flourish in the Afghan workplace, she filled a crucial gap
23 AUGUST 2013 | KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
All too often, Kamila Sidiqi is the only woman at business meetings and she is very aware that her presence makes some of the men uncomfortable. To Kamila, this is proof that her current venture is crucial.
She runs a company that helps more Afghan women join the workforce, coaching them on business skills and employability. Many Afghan women have university degrees and the right qualifications, says Kamila, but they simply don’t know how to go about getting good jobs.
She started Kaweyan Business Development Services to fill the gap. With support from the USAID’s Afghanistan Workforce Development Program (AWDP), Kamila’s company helps women in search of their first job. They are taught how to formulate an action plan, perfect their interview skills and write a compelling CV. Kamila says the training accelerates a process that could take two years.
She should know. She started her career as a seamstress, a story that has been told in the 2011 novel ‘The Dressmaker of Khair Khana’.
Today, Kamila’s company also caters to mid-level professionals. With AWDP help, the firm canvassed companies and created a unique demand-driven checklist of courses to boost professional skillsets. Many of the companies agreed to hire or promote those who successfully completed the courses.